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Author Topic: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')  (Read 6143 times)

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Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2011, 05:17:59 PM »
CNN covered this before this post was ever made:  http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/09/19/mxp-westhoven-occupywallstreet.hln?iref=allsearch

EDIT: Fox covered it even sooner than that - http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/17/demonstrators-occupy-wall-street-to-protest-influence-money-on-us-politics/

I have to wonder if those who claiming this has been ignored by the mainstream media because it goes against its corporatist interests even did a simple search before trying to paint that conspiratorial narrative.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 05:30:55 PM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2011, 05:37:46 PM »
It's one thing to have it on the website and say "Yeah, sure, we covered it" but the fact that booty call is on the front page while OWS is not, to me, is shameful. Whether they are oblivious or purposefully not reporting it, I can't say. I don't believe I implied any kind of conspiracy theory on it, in my post. I just find myself puzzled that I have seen all form and flavors of absolute tripe on the Big Three's newsfeeds, but not even a breath of OWS.

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2011, 09:18:13 PM »
I wasn't referring to anyone personally, just reacting to the fact that the narrative of this thread (and many others on other websites) has been "the mainstream media won't cover this" -- and yet I found articles on 2 of the big 3 (I didn't check MSNBC, but I bet they covered it too) that were published a week or more before this post was created covering OWS.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 09:19:44 PM by Jude »

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2011, 09:29:16 PM »
How much television coverage have you seen?  Any local news stations made so much as a mention?  I specifically referred to television coverage being incredibly lacking.  And if I recall, those articles were pretty well buried on the various sites and dismissed as a bunch of bored college kids.  On the day of my first posting, after ten days of occupation, it was still falling well below 'booty call'-type articles.

At any rate, after this weekend it'll be a moot point, since apparently Fox News has seen fit to set up a feed to cover the march.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 09:30:25 PM by Oniya »

Offline Asuras

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2011, 10:27:03 PM »
It makes the news here in New York.

Also, on my Bloomberg terminal (a thing finance guys use) the stories reach the "top stories" page. The "top stories" page is based on how many hits the story gets on people who have a Bloomberg, so for what it's worth Wall Streeters are quite interested in this.

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2011, 11:06:22 PM »
Why would they be covering a tiny protest in New York on my local news stations (that I don't watch).

EDIT:  It's not like TeaCon 2011 is on the front page of news outlets either.  I heard about that for the first time on my local talk radio station from a person who's going to be broadcasting there.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 11:13:58 PM by Jude »

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2011, 11:17:25 PM »
Location would be one thing.  This isn't a small group of students rallying on an obscure college campus, these are people of all ages who are waving signs in the spleen New York's financial district.  (I'd say the heart, but they were barricaded away from the bull.)

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2011, 11:23:16 PM »
There are definitely people of all ages out there, I've watched the videos on their website and can confirm this, but I was still left with an impression that the majority of them were young college kids as described.  Unfortunately there is no reliable demographical or statistical information out there about the movement to dispel the impression that news outlets are giving.

Offline Montressor

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2011, 12:34:00 AM »
The broad truth remains: this event is markedly under-reported in the larger veins of news media. But it is creeping in. And it isn't all snide, unlike most media coverage of left-ish action.

Still, I defy the doubters to keep suggesting that OWS is getting attention commensurate with what sixty octogenarian tea-baggers get in Idaho or Mississippi. This is a much bigger story, featuring abuse and unjustified detention, and it has been media-quiet so far.

But it is growing. So, 87 arrests without cause might not be news to CNN, but growing crowds, star-visitors, and staying power can perhaps force their hands. I know I'll be back this weekend.

And the anti-corporate position piece is spot on. Let's keep this moving!

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2011, 12:39:12 AM »
The broad truth remains: this event is markedly under-reported in the larger veins of news media
How is this a truth?  What are you basing that on?

As far as the anti-corporate rhetoric goes, should we start arguing that here, or another thread?  I'd like to see an actual thesis of belief from OWS and their supporters.

Offline Trieste

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2011, 01:12:00 AM »
I'd like to see an actual thesis of belief from OWS and their supporters.

Did you watch the CNN video you linked? Because that answers your question.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2011, 01:32:40 AM »
Just saw tv coverage of these protests on the BBC, and given the parallels with the battered situation in Europe and the Beeb's high presence in New York I think they will keep reporting on it. Would be interesting if it might elicit some comments from the republican runners, looking towards the primaries.

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2011, 02:14:02 AM »
If you want to know more about the people that inspired this protest, there's a tumblr page set up here.  Most of these people are probably not in the protest, due to situations that will hopefully be obvious.

The top 1% of the US population owns between a third and half of the country's wealth, depending on which indicia you use.  (Link contains more stats than even I can fit in the storehouse.) 

The median income per capita has risen at about have the rate of the per capita GDP. (Link contains helpful chart.)

The 'employment-to-population' ratio is - well - ugly is the best word I can come up with.  (Link contains chart reference in this article.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2011, 02:21:21 AM »
Didn't Reagan say in some speech that among the millions of single mothers who were collecting "welfare money" some were actually saving up the surplus of that dough to buy a sports car, or for a vacation in the Caribbean with their kids? (Not that it was unique in any way, I've heard things in the same vein tossed out around here)

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2011, 02:43:50 AM »
I believe you're referring to this incident?  (I wish I could have found a different link, but the New York Times requires a subscription.)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2011, 09:01:17 PM »
Police roundup; hundreds arrested

During a march of some thousands of protesters (who were on the sidewalks, not in the street, according to participants whom the BBC and NY Times talked to) the police pushed part of them in onto the lower level of Brooklyn Bridge, at first seemin to escort them, and, when they had come well out on the bridge, rounded them up, forced some of them to use the driving lanes, by ringing them in and 'pushing the crowd' and then made a mass arrest of some 400 people. Some of them may have been released as soon as they had been taken off the bridge; the number kept at police precincts is not yet confirmed by the NYPD.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/01/police-arresting-protesters-on-brooklyn-bridge/?hp

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/protests-stir-up-voices-on-the-web/

NYT Web access: New York Times articles are not behind an instant paywall, there are some legit windows for accessing them. I think one is allowed to read twenty articles a month free of charge (this is not affected by having an article kept on a saved tab in the browser) and articles reached via links in twitter feeds (look for the tags #occupywallstreet and #nypd, etc, or the feeds of journalists, policy makers, congressmen and other people who are likely to follow the stuff you're interested in) are not counted, but are essentially free. I believe you can use Google as a proxy too, looking for the subject or a headline if you know how it went, and then taking the "read cached version" option.

Anyway, this police roundup (and ensuing judicial standoffs) will push the story some way up towards the news front. Even if it won't be able to compete with the Conrad Murray trial or the impending (likely) Greek bankruptcy.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 09:33:56 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Torch

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2011, 09:44:00 PM »
Police roundup; hundreds arrested

During a march of some thousands of protesters (who were on the sidewalks, not in the street, according to participants whom the BBC and NY Times talked to) the police pushed part of them in onto the lower level of Brooklyn Bridge, at first seemin to escort them, and, when they had come well out on the bridge, rounded them up, forced some of them to use the driving lanes, by ringing them in and 'pushing the crowd' and then made a mass arrest of some 400 people. Some of them may have been released as soon as they had been taken off the bridge; the number kept at police precincts is not yet confirmed by the NYPD.

According to www.msnbc.com, the protesters took to the the roadway on their own, blocking Brooklyn-bound traffic, after being warned by police to stay on the pedestrian walkway.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44742659/from/RSS/

 NEW YORK About 500 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested on Saturday after blocking traffic lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge and attempting an unauthorized march across the span, police said.

On the second week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement, a large group of marchers broke off from others on the bridge's pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.

"Over 500 were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge late this afternoon after multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway, and that if they took roadway they would be arrested," said Paul J. Browne, deputy commissioner with the New York Police Department in a statement.

"Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested. Others proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway and were arrested," Browne said.

Both the walkway and Brooklyn-bound car lanes were shut to traffic, snarling traffic. Police reopened the bridge at 8:05 p.m. EDT.

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2011, 10:09:02 PM »
I expect to see a variety of view points on this.  The NYT article has people quoted claiming that the police allowed them onto the vehicular deck, as well as statements from the police that there were verbal warnings not to go onto the vehicular deck.  It also states that those who were in the back of the crowd (who might not have heard warnings) were released.  The reason given for the arrests was that they were blocking traffic.

Now, while the march was going on, I was watching a traffic cam that was up on the bridge.  It didn't have an auto-refresh, but I was hitting reload for a few minutes before it suddenly switched to 'being serviced' and in that time, I could make out cop cars parked on one of the two vehicle paths and a fair amount of foot traffic (larger amount at the edge of the camera's range) coming down the pedestrian walkway in the center.  I didn't see a crowd on the vehicle deck, but it's likely that it was happening out of range of the camera - I have no idea where on the span the camera is located.  I did see cars going by on both sides of the walkway.

The prevailing advice being given on both OccupyWallStreet and the Coffee Party facebook pages is to keep it peaceful, and I have to give them props for that.

Offline Jude

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2011, 10:28:04 PM »
Did you watch the CNN video you linked? Because that answers your question.
A thesis needs to be a cohesive statement which is easily supported or disconfirmed by evidence.  I saw nothing of the sort given in the CNN video.

As far as the stats on the ailing economy goes and the massive disparities of wealth in the United States, sure, those are facts... But I'm not sure what those facts are being called to testify to.  There seems to be no substantive argument being given by OWS, especially when it comes to a casual link between corporate behavior and the totality of our economic problems, to implicate corporate America aside from pointing to the Sub-Prime Mortgage meltdown (which was the fault of individuals who accepted risky loans, massive real estate speculation, and corporate greed).

I guess what I object to most about the OWS is that the original organizers of this movement believe we live in a corporatocracy and that Democracy is fundamentally fractured and subverted in this country.  That's a deeply cynical view that ignores the role that the American people have played in getting us here.  We relected Reagan and George W. Bush for god's sake.

And if we do live in a nation where Democracy is dead and Corporate Interests rule, what can you possibly hope to achieve by protesting?  Wouldn't the truth of their own ideology invalidate their efforts?

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2011, 11:29:17 PM »
A thesis needs to be a cohesive statement which is easily supported or disconfirmed by evidence.  I saw nothing of the sort given in the CNN video.

A political thesis, or a set of points one is addressing, conditions one is calling attention to because wishing to change them, isn't the same kind of beast as a statement in natural sciences. If you state that "neutron stars evolve from supernovas" or "crossings between horse and donkey are not fertile in themselves" those can be checked against raw facts and experiments, and often you can point to some condition that, if it were shown to exist, would falsify the statement (yes I've read Popper too). But statements on what is the right thing to do, or what the problem is in a political or moral context, don't work like that. Not fully, anyway.

In what way was it possible in 1850 to "prove" that slavery was unjust? In 1960 to "demonstrate" empirically and objectively that blacks were being deprived of their rights in the south? The official line was that they were living under a system that would have been perfectly okay, only it kept them separate, and anyway you could point to how the brighter blacks were migrating north and helping themselves to success (who needs "civil rights" when the blacks are making top dollar at Motown anyway?) Separation/segregation in itself would not have been seen as an indisputable issue that had to be addressed if you'd have asked some southern judge or senator - or many ordinary citizens - in 1960.

Quote
I guess what I object to most about the OWS is that the original organizers of this movement believe we live in a corporatocracy and that Democracy is fundamentally fractured and subverted in this country.  That's a deeply cynical view that ignores the role that the American people have played in getting us here.  We relected Reagan and George W. Bush for god's sake.

And if we do live in a nation where Democracy is dead and Corporate Interests rule, what can you possibly hope to achieve by protesting?  Wouldn't the truth of their own ideology invalidate their efforts?

I think the trouble here is that democracy - the formal framework, as in equal and free right to vote for all citizens, free and nonpartisan courts, a legislative body chosen by the people etc - doesn't in itself - inevitably, no matter what the rest of the machine looks like -  add up to real influence, to people having a say in their own lives and being able to take charge of their living, their town, the policies, wars, laws and taxes of their country. And if a large part of the people don't have anything like the influence they should have as citizens (and feel they can get nowhere, to boot, because there are no decent jobs), then democracy starts to rot, no matter how good the elections and intentions look.

It's perfectly possible to have a country that's formally democratic, where business is largely free and the information is flowing around in a way that looks free enough, but where vital things are most often essentially decided in corporate and government office backrooms long before they're actually put to any kind of vote - and where key decisions are kept away from any vote or any open scrutiny at all. When the power - the real power, not the voting power - is so unevenly distributed that it effectively undoes any access for free reshuffling of the issues, for citizen control, for real "access to the American dream" or similar ideas of personal success, democracy becomes more or less an empty, blank front. Decisions are not transparent and people begin to grow deeply cynical about society, or just turn away from the public space.

Want an example? Italy - Berlusconi would have been unthinkable without that kind of grinding down of transparency and of local self-control, glossed over by a barrage of entertainment provided by his tv channels and a blatantly clientelist society. Many Italians despise him, but the reason he came to power around 1990 was that the politicians that were around back then were seen as a bunch of useless and corrupt slackers (as they largely were). And the reason he has stayed in control is roughly that he has a paw on some key media and business conglomerates in a way that allows him to plainly block public debate.

"One man, one vote" as a base for popular control and governance isn't automatically true just because you have a formal democracy. If corporations are effectively able to buy laws, senators or secret deals favourable to them, and to avoid scrutiny, then the lifeblood of democracy is being put out of function.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 12:14:58 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2011, 08:53:28 PM »
http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

Powerful but depressing stories there.

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2011, 09:07:44 PM »
Yup.  Linked that in the post with all the stats.  A 'live action' version of that tumblr feed is planned for DC on 10/29.

Offline Noelle

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2011, 04:13:36 PM »
I've been reserving my comments on this story because I have only vaguely been following it, but I really have to get this out of my system.

OWS's proposed list of demands

Doot da doo, gender/racial equality? Great!
Updated voting system? Oh boy!
Free college? Yes, yes!
Universal health care + banning private insurers? Ehh, not exactly what I'd spring for, but universal health care is something I could get on board with...

...Global debt forgiveness?
...$20/hour minimum wage?
...One trillion dollars into environmental restoration?
...Open border policy?


If this is what's going to represent their overall interests, consider this moderate liberal no longer interested. I can support trying to close the gap a bit between the rich and middle-class/poor, I can support trying to help everyone have a better standard of living and easier access to higher education -- but some of this is blatantly misinformed and might as well have been written in crayon on a piece of notebook paper to tape to Mom's fridge for as serious as it's not going to be taken. If this is going to turn into the same ridiculousity that the extreme crazies in the Tea Party have shown, color me disinterested.

Offline Craz

Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2011, 04:18:18 PM »
I've been reserving my comments on this story because I have only vaguely been following it, but I really have to get this out of my system.

OWS's proposed list of demands

Doot da doo, gender/racial equality? Great!
Updated voting system? Oh boy!
Free college? Yes, yes!
Universal health care + banning private insurers? Ehh, not exactly what I'd spring for, but universal health care is something I could get on board with...

...Global debt forgiveness?
...$20/hour minimum wage?
...One trillion dollars into environmental restoration?
...Open border policy?


If this is what's going to represent their overall interests, consider this moderate liberal no longer interested. I can support trying to close the gap a bit between the rich and middle-class/poor, I can support trying to help everyone have a better standard of living and easier access to higher education -- but some of this is blatantly misinformed and might as well have been written in crayon on a piece of notebook paper to tape to Mom's fridge for as serious as it's not going to be taken. If this is going to turn into the same ridiculousity that the extreme crazies in the Tea Party have shown, color me disinterested.

For the latter few, like twenty bucks an hour minimum wage(As someone who is used to working near-minimum, my selfish side that isn't too bad), it's a tactic that's been going around in American politics for years.  You sell your point too strongly, and compromise at the table. The Progressive Movement a century ago did just about the same thing.

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Re: American Autumn (or, 'If we don't report it, it will go away')
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2011, 04:29:31 PM »
There's still voting going on as to what's actually going to be submitted.  Some issues are definitely more universally espoused than others.

There's a claim of 'tens of thousands in Foley Square' in the ether at the moment.  Haven't been able to confirm, but even half that many would be impressive.  Robert Reich has mentioned them in Twitter - personally, I'd like to see some of the ideas from this post rising to the top.